Depending on the study you use, 20% to 25% of married women want more sex than they are having – because their husband is refusing them.
If you find yourself in this group, you are no doubt tired of seeing posts telling women to “have more sex” or “stop gatekeeping”.
Lori and I have heard from many sexually frustrated wives over the years, and I believe it hurts them every bit as much as it hurts men. The physical frustration may (or may not) be less, but the mental and emotional turmoil is the same. How can a man who says he loves you keep refusing something you need which only he is supposed to provide?
While there is not enough data to prove it, it seems likely this is a growing problem. No doubt, there have always been marriages where the wife had the higher drive, but it seems increasingly common. I would guess this is due to both healthier sex drives among women and less interest in partner sex by men. I say “partner sex” because one common reason men say no to their wives is they are taking care if it themselves.
Solving this problem requires finding out why his drive or interest is low. Asking him this is about like asking why he is not a real man – not a fun conversation for anyone. If you can start with a completely non-condemning attitude, it will help. He will be more likely to confess a sin or problems if he feels he will not get shamed or beat up.
I would start by giving him a very clear statement about the problem as you see it. Tell him you need to have sex with him more often. Tell him the lack of sex hurts you on multiple levels, and is hurting your relationship with him. Give him some idea how often you think sex should happen. Do NOT downplay this number, be brutally honest with him.
Once you have established the problem, start looking for the cause. One thing to ask is how often he masturbates. Notice I did not say ask him if he does it, ask him how often he does it. The vast majority of married men masturbate at least occasionally. Asking him how often tells him you expect him to say he does, which may lessen his reluctance. If he says never he may be telling the truth, but odds are, he is not. If he gives you a number, he is likely fudging it. If he admits to any masturbation, ask him what it would take to make it so you can take care of him 100% of the time. Please note masturbation does not necessarily mean he is using porn.
There are many other possible causes of low sex drive or interest. We have an article on this over on The Marriage Bed – Spouse Won’t Have Sex. Work with your husband to find out why, and then work on ways to change things. As you are the one looking for change, you will probably need to do more than he to achieve success. (I am not saying that is right, just reality.) Be ready to change time of day, or do a bit of work to get him aroused. Check out How to Get Him to Want Sex for some ideas on getting him turned on, but realise this will only help if he is willing.
And finally, to get the comments hopping, if he keeps refusing to give you what you need, is it okay to take care of it yourself? Some women (and men too) say this is not what they want, and some say it just makes them more angry about the whole situation. Others say it does help on various levels, including not being as mad at their spouse. The Bible says nothing about masturbation (I know some disagree) so I do not see it as a sin issue apart from what one thinks about as they do it. I do think your spouse is supposed to be there for you, so it seems fair to let them know your need has reached the point where you will do it if they do not.
~ Paul – I’m XY, and I’m sorry if you are in this situation.